Shanghai - Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas said he
hoped to break Guangzhou Evergrande's stranglehold on the Chinese Super League
as he was unveiled as Shanghai SIPG's new coach on Friday, replacing the axed
The well-regarded Portuguese manager, nicknamed 'AVB',
appeared in front of media in Shanghai shortly after big-spending SIPG
announced the end of Eriksson's two-year reign.
Villas-Boas, 39, represents a fresh young face for foreign
managers in the Chinese Super League, whose riches have become a magnet for top
coaches and players.
He immediately took aim at the CSL title, annexed by Luiz
Felipe Scolari's Evergrande who lifted the trophy for the sixth season in a row
"It's a different challenge in my career," said
Villas-Boas, who also coached Tottenham Hotspur and called a halt to his last
job, at Russia's Zenit St. Petersburg, in May.
"Our focus will be to put a team together that is
stronger, that is able to compete in all competitions," he said.
"But most of all, to bring joy to our fans with the
Chinese championship next year."
Also read: Villas-Boas: I wanted to be like Mourinho
SIPG's general manager Sui Guoyang declined to put a figure
on the contract signed by Villas-Boas but he said it was "definitely not
one year" in duration.
He underlined the club's high ambitions when he added that
SIPG wanted to win at least one of the CSL, AFC Champions League and Chinese FA
Cup next season.
Villas-Boas's appointment, widely trailed in Chinese media,
was confirmed shortly after SIPG announced Eriksson's departure following
"We sincerely hope everything goes well for Mr.
Eriksson's future work and life," SIPG said on a verified social media
A later SIPG statement said that Villas-Boas "can
further enrich the team's tactics", motivate players and "lead the
team to march towards higher goals".
- Quick turnaround -
SIPG were runners-up in the CSL in Eriksson's first year at
the club, giving them a place in this season's AFC Champions League, where they
reached the quarter-finals.
But Eriksson's fate may have been sealed when they crashed
out to South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, embarrassingly losing the second
SIPG have been among China's biggest spenders as money pours
into the Chinese game. This year they captured Brazilian forward Hulk for a
reported 55 million euro ($60 million).
Villas-Boas, their latest prize, was only 33 when he won the
Europa League with Porto in 2011, before spells at Chelsea and Spurs and his
two-year stint at Zenit St. Petersburg.
He is notably much younger than his foreign peers including
Evergrande's Luiz Felipe Scolari (67), Hebei China Fortune's Manuel Pellegrini
(63) and Shandong Luneng's Felix Magath (63).
Sweden's Eriksson, 68, coached England from 2001-2006 and
went on to lead Manchester City and Leicester City. His first job in China was
at Guangzhou R&F in 2013.
The CSL has a reputation for a quick turnaround of managers
and Eriksson is not the first to be shown the door after a period of moderate
In 2012, Guangzhou Evergrande replaced Lee Jang-Soo with
Marcello Lippi mid-season after the Korean coach had taken them to promotion
and the CSL title in consecutive years.
Evergrande also moved swiftly to replace Lippi's eventual
successor, Fabio Cannavaro, with Luiz Felipe Scolari after the Italian had
guided them to the top of the table last year.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.